Ecological Dynamics of Coastal Plants, Birds, and Herbivores

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 In a recent paper, scientists from the University of Irvine examined the resistance of shrub plants to herbivory, as enabled by plant morphology or the presence of avian species. The scientists studied both direct and indirect defenses in nature and assessed these mechanisms in the context of energetic trade-offs. Characteristics that were already known to directly lower the success rate of herbivory … Continue reading Ecological Dynamics of Coastal Plants, Birds, and Herbivores

Interactions between a Tree Exudate and a Loquat-Seed Starch

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 As naturally derived ingredients become more sought after in manufacturing and other areas, the science behind biodegradable material continues to expand. Recently, in order to better understand the chemical dynamics of different ingredients in biomaterials and explore the possibility of developing an edible film, a pair of scientists located in South Korea investigated the interactions of a tree-based gum with loquat-seed derived … Continue reading Interactions between a Tree Exudate and a Loquat-Seed Starch

Bat-Plant Mutualism in Brazil’s Cerrado and Efficiency in Conservation Efforts

Fatin Chowdhury ‘20 A group of researchers based in Europe and Brazil have detailed their literature-based simulation study of mutualistic bat and plant relationships in an area of Brazil called the Cerrado, with an emphasis on efficient conservation. This environment is a neotropical savanna biome characterized by high fauna diversity and distinct habitats, ranging from grasslands to dense gallery forests. These savannas are noted for … Continue reading Bat-Plant Mutualism in Brazil’s Cerrado and Efficiency in Conservation Efforts

Environment Dependent Dietary Adjustment by Invasive Aquatic Species

Fatin Chowdhury ‘20 Recently, researchers at three Brazilian universities examined patterns of feeding behavior displayed by the Knodus moenkhausii fish invasive to Brazil. The researchers described a two-fold hypothesis. Firstly, the species is expected to be non-specialist and opportunistic, feeding on whatever food source is most readily accessible. Secondly, resource abundance affects the nature of the trophic niche it resides in. Accordingly, flexibility in diet … Continue reading Environment Dependent Dietary Adjustment by Invasive Aquatic Species